Delivery Approach

When leaders set ambitious goals for improving student outcomes and closing achievement gaps, we help them implement their priority strategies using a proven methodology called delivery.

Delivery is a systematic process by which education leaders can drive progress and deliver results. Delivery incorporates proven practices from management disciplines across the public and private sectors. These tools help education system leaders answer four questions:

  1. What are you trying to do?
  2. How are you planning to do it?
  3. At any given moment, how will you know if you’re on track?
  4. If not on track, what are you going to do about it?

Delivery is about asking and answering these questions in a consistent, disciplined, and rigorous way throughout the system.

The 15 Essential Elements

EDI uses a 15-part framework to teach the delivery methodology, coach Delivery Units, and partner on work to build capacity:

1 - Develop a Foundation for Delivery2 - Understand the Delivery Challenge3 - Plan for Delivery4 - Drive delivery5 - Create an Irreversible Culture

1. Develop a foundation for delivery.

Every strong delivery effort has a few prerequisites that must be put in place before beginning: a clear idea of what a system should deliver, an understanding of where and how delivery must improve, a talented team to run the delivery effort, and sufficient alignment at the top to get things done.

2. Understand the delivery challenge.

Knowing the nature of the problem a system faces is crucial to its success. With a foundation in place, the Delivery Unit begins its work with a diagnosis of both the size and nature of the barriers that a system faces to delivery of the aspiration. 

3. Plan for delivery.

Once a system has defined where it wants to be and learned where it is, the next logical question is, “How are they going to get there?”  With the facts about performance in hand, the Delivery Unit supports the leader to define a system’s approach to addressing the delivery challenge, to set a concrete and measurable definition of success, and to produce plans that will help a system get there. 

4. Drive delivery.

A system’s strategy, targets, trajectories, and plans all represent commitments made by the system which, if honored, should generate real results.  The Delivery Unit’s role is to track progress against these commitments, to identify challenges and change course where required, and above all to push a system to keep its promises.

5. Create an irreversible delivery culture.

The tools and tactics of delivery are necessary elements for success but they cannot ensure it will be achieved. Change will be irreversible only when a leader has succeeded in changing the system’s culture, widening the circle of a delivery effort’s leadership to include senior leaders, middle managers, the front line, and even the public.  Therefore, every activity in a delivery effort is supported by efforts to build the skills and mindsets, send the messages, and develop the relationships that are instrumental to creating a culture of delivery. 

Our Theory of Action

At EDI, we believe that if a system has bold, committed leadership and builds the capacity of a small group within the agency (the Delivery Unit) to rigorously apply the 15 elements across the agency, then we will see results for students.